The Transmission Of Pathogens Biology

Table of Content

Infectious diseases are caused by the transmittal of pathogens, which are micro-organisms such as bacteriums and viruses. Pathogens can be transmitted by direct contact – horizontal and perpendicular transmittal – and by indirect contact – vehicle-borne transmittal and vector-borne transmittal.

Pathogens are micro-organisms that cause infective disease. Bacteria and viruses are the chief pathogens.

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Salmonella bacteria cell

Bacteria come in many forms and sizes, but even the largest are merely 10 micrometres long ( 10 millionths of a meter ) .

Bacterias are populating cells and, in favorable conditions, can multiply quickly. Once inside the organic structure, they release toxicants or toxins that make us experience badly.


Hepatitis C virus. Deoxyribonucleic acid are enclosed in a protein coat.

Transmission of pathogens

Microorganisms can be transmitted in two chief ways: direct contact and indirect contact.

Direct contact

Direct contact means that the disease-causing bug is passed from one individual to another when their organic structures touch in some manner.

Vertical transmittal happens when microorganisms base on balls from a female parent to her unborn babe through the placenta. German rubeolas and HIV can go through this manner.

Horizontal transmittal happens when microorganisms base on balls from one individual to another by touching, snoging or sexual intercourse.

Examples of horizontal transmittal

type of contact

bacterial disease

viral disease


bacterial stomach flu



bacterial meningitis

glandular febrility, cold sores

sexual intercourse

gonorrhea, pox

HIV, hepatitis B

Indirect contact

Indirect contact happens when micro-organisms are carried to a individual in some manner, alternatively of by existent organic structure to organic structure contact.

Vehicle-borne transmittal involves an object transporting the disease-causing micro-organism.

Examples of vehicle-bourne transmittal


bacterial disease

viral disease

droplets in the air

TB ( TB )

colds, grippe



infantile paralysis

crisp objects




Salmonella nutrient toxic condition

hepatitis A

Vector-borne transmittal involves an animate being such as an insect. For illustration, malaria is transmitted by mosquitoes and pestilence by fleas.

The first line of defense mechanism

Most pathogens have to acquire inside our organic structure to distribute infection. Once they are indoors, the organic structure provides ideal life conditions – plentifulness of nutrient, H2O and heat. Standing in their manner is our organic structure ‘s immune system – the organic structure ‘s coordinated response to the invading pathogens.

The first line of defense mechanism is the organic structure ‘s natural barriers. These include:


rhinal hairs, mucous secretion and cilia


The tegument

Cross-section of tegument

The tegument covers the whole organic structure. It protects the organic structure from physical harm, bug infection and desiccation. Its dry, dead outer cells are hard for bugs to perforate, and the greasy secretory organs produce oils which help kill bugs.

Nasal hairs, mucous secretion and cilia

The respiratory system ( or gaseous exchange piece of land ) is protected in several ways. Nasal hairs maintain out dust and larger micro-organisms. Sticky mucous secretion traps dust and bug. These are so carried away by cilia, which are bantam hairs on the cells that line the gaseous exchange piece of land.


Cryings, spit and mucous secretion contain an enzyme called muramidase. This destroys micro-organisms.

The 2nd line of defense mechanism


If microorganisms get into the organic structure through a cut in the tegument, the most of import thing is to rapidly shut the lesion so more micro-organisms can non come in. A strikebreaker does merely this. The blood contains bantam constructions called thrombocytes, and a protein called fibrin. A strikebreaker is fundamentally thrombocytes stuck in a fibrin mesh. The life shows how this works.

White blood cells

As a lesion heals, nearby blood vass widen to let more blood to make the country. This causes redness where the damaged country becomes conceited, hot and ruddy. White blood cells called scavenger cells move into the country, and destruct bacteriums by steeping and digesting them.

The 3rd line of defense mechanism

Pathogens contain certain chemicals that are foreign to the organic structure and are called antigens. White blood cells called lymph cells carry a specific type of antibody – a protein that has a chemical ‘fit ‘ to a certain antigen. When a lymph cell with the appropriate antibody meets a unsafe foreign organic structure ( pathogen incorporating antigen ) , the lymph cell reproduces rapidly, and makes many transcripts of the antibody that neutralises the pathogen.

Antibodies neutralise pathogens in a figure of ways:

They bind to pathogens and harm or destruct them.

They coat pathogens, cloping them together so that they are easy ingested by scavenger cells.

They bind to the pathogens and let go of chemical signals to pull more scavenger cells.

Lymphocytes may besides let go of antitoxins that stick to the appropriate toxin and halt it damaging the organic structure.


Tuberculosis, or TB for short, is a disease caused by a bacteria called Mycobacterium TB. The micro-organisms are spread through the air in bantam droplets when an septic individual sneezes or coughs. Most people who are infected do non demo any symptoms. About 10 per cent of people who are infected will travel on to endure symptoms, which include:

shortness of breath


weight loss



decease ( in approximately 50 per cent of instances )

Merely septic people who show symptoms of TB can distribute the micro-organisms to other people.

Prevention and control of TB ( Higher Tier )

The BCG ( Bacillus Calmette-Gu & A ; Atilde ; ©rin ) inoculation protects about 75 per cent of clean people from going infected.

Antiobiotics are drugs that kill bacteriums or forestall them from reproducing. Infected people who do non demo any symptoms of TB are normally given a class of one antibiotic, but septic people who are demoing symptoms of TB need a class of several antibiotics at one time. This is to cut down the opportunity that strains of antibiotic-resistant bacteriums will emerge.

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